Monthly Archives: June 2010

I Don’t Drink Bourbon, But…

On Saturday I ran at Ft Harrison State Park with Trail Boy. Over the last several months we have exchanged comments through our blogs and have run in the same races at times, but had never met in person until Saturday. He was more familiar with Ft Harrison, so it was nice to have someone to show me around the place. There was a lot of water and a little mud, but overall a great morning to run around the woods. Of course you know I say that about the running around the woods regardless of the conditions.

Thunderstorm – great morning to run around the woods.

Blizzard – great morning to run around the woods.

Oppressive heat and humidity – great morning to run around the woods.

Lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my – great morning to run really fast out of the woods.

It’s all good. Ok, the unidentified insect that stung me on the leg was not so good, but I survived, I think, that spot on my leg is still pretty itchy today. My only regret is that I didn’t head over to the playground for some pull ups after the run.

On Sunday morning I met some friends at my old stomping grounds, Eagle Creek. On the way into the park I saw two tiny fawns. I doubt they were more than a month old. The recent storms had knocked down a number of trees in the park. One large pine had fallen and completely blocked the main road through the park. It had been cleared, but when trees block the hiking trails it can take years before they are cleared.

We ran trails for about an hour. Mike, who is training for a full Ironman and ran at least ten 100 mile races last year, set a fast pace from the start. No one told me we were running a race! Somehow after about 30 minutes I wound up at the front, but I don’t think I slowed the pace much if at all. After the trails we mounted our bikes and rode for about 90 minutes.

Some of my racing plans for the fall are beginning to take shape. I recently joined a team for the Bourbon Chase. It’s a 200 mile relay race in Kentucky on October 22-23. There isn’t supposed to be any drinking during the run, but the race website says there will be plenty of bourbon at the start and finish. That’s fine as long as I don’t have to drink any of it.

Just today I signed up for the Heart of America Marathon in Columbia, Missouri. It’s supposed to be quite hilly and at that time of year heat could be a problem. Oh well, I’ve seen the elevation profile. Sure, it’s not a flat BQ type of course, but it’s no Tecumseh either. Most of those who commented on the hills are probably road runners who are always crying about the tiniest little incline and making mountains out of mole hills.


Ft Harrison State Park, Love It!

LCT to the left and right, but where does the unmarked single track go?

This morning I ventured over to Ft Harrison State Park. I had visited the park several times before, but always for a race. Except for DINO race I’m not very familiar with the trails in the park. Today I only ran on the Lawrence Creek Trail (LCT). The map says it’s 2 miles, but I don’t know about that. I ran from the trailhead to the loop and then twice around the loop in about 40 minutes including several stops to take pictures and some brief side trail exploration. I wasn’t running that fast, so 2 miles? Before running the LCT I ran up and down the sledding hill once. After the LCT I returned to the sledding hill and did repeats, 4 or 5 times. After a couple of round trips I decided the signs saying to walk up the sides are meant for those sledding in winter. I then ran diagonally across the hill, up and down. I was pushing hard up the hill and flying down. It is a smooth grass hill and perfect for hill repeats. After the hill repeats I headed over to the playground for more fun. Push ups and pull ups. Oh yeah! I can’t wait to go back and get acquainted with more of the trails. And watch out kiddies, because I’ll be on the playground doing more pull ups too.

View from the top of the sledding hill.

An hour of running, push ups, pull ups. I'm wore out and ready for Panera!

Perhaps the thing I like the most about Ft Harrison is this, within a mile of the park entrance there is a Panera! After a hard work out I earned a coffee and bagel. On the way out of the park there is a sign that says something like thanks for visiting, hope you enjoyed it and return soon. In the comfort of my car I actually shouted out loud NO, THANK YOU! YES I DID AND YES I WILL!

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, But This Old Man Was Not Snoring

This morning I ran from my house to Broad Ripple in a heavy downpour. It felt so good running in the rain. I was singing “Breathe On Me” by Todd Fields the whole time. Love that song. When I got to Broad Ripple I had no choice but to turn around and run back home. The rain stopped after about 8 or 9 miles. I had this idea in my head that the round-trip would be around 10 miles. Turns out it was closer to 13. I had forgotten that when I mapped the route earlier in the week I used the short route to the Monon, but today I actually ran the long route. No problem, it’s all good. As much as possible I was running on the gravel at the edge of the pavement. Like a good trail runner I was extending greetings to all the runners I passed. Many of them returned the greeting, but many did not. I think tomorrow I’ll go to Ft Harrison or Town Run for some real trail running. I enjoyed the rain today, but I won’t be disappointed if it doesn’t rain tomorrow. Enjoy the song!

Slowly Recovering

96th Street rest area on the Monon Trail. As much possible I run on the gravel rather than the pavement

After a somewhat rough weekend I was pretty sore so I made Monday a rest day. Tuesday at work I was even more sore than I was on Monday. Getting up from my chair was a struggle each time. Seemed like the longer I would sit the stiffer I would be. I didn’t think another rest day would be in my best interest so I was determined to run after work. It wasn’t easy getting started, but once I got out the door I was fine. I didn’t set any speed records, but I did manage to stop twice to do 30 pushups. I ran south on the Monon to 86th street and stopped at the 96th street rest area to do the pushups. I wound up covering about 6.4 miles in all. It was slow, but afterward I felt much better. Wednesday at work most of the stiffness and soreness was gone. My right calf is still a little tender, but another couple days and it should be back to 100%.

The 96th street rest area is less than a half mile from my house as the crow flies but since I don’t fly like a crow I have to run either 1 mile or 2 miles depending on which way I go. I can go north on the Monon to 106th street then south through the neighborhood (just over 2 miles) or I can run on 96th street to College then north on College to the neighborhood (about 1 mile). I hope to do some speed work tonight depending on how I feel when I get home.

DINO Brown County

The DINO series 15k trail race at Brown County State Park was this past Saturday. It was muggy and warm. The trail was muddy in a few spots, but the recent rains provided a couple creek crossings with plenty of water to wash off the mud. Oh yeah, and since the first mile or so was on a horse trail which as perhaps the “muddiest” part of the course, not all that mud on my shoes and legs was mud. Time wise this was without doubt by far my worst DINO race ever. After the first couple miles I realized there would be trouble ahead. By the half-way point I was completely spent, absolutely no gas left in the tank. My legs were heavy and sluggish. I could not run even the slightest uphill inclines and I couldn’t turn my legs over fast enough to run fast downhill. I estimate that I reached the half-way point in just over 30 minutes. It took me an additional hour to reach the finish line. I’m not sure what caused my problems. Didn’t sleep well the night before, right calf still hurting from straining it last Monday, the humidity, started out too fast, etc… who knows? Doesn’t matter because I was out in the woods with fellow trail runners and despite the suffering I enjoyed it. I wish I had remembered my camera. As slow as I was going I could have taken lots of photos.

What a difference a day makes. On Sunday morning I met a couple friends at Eagle Creek. We ran about 7 miles at a brisk pace, definitely faster than my average pace in the DINO race. It was a little cooler so I guess that helped a little. My friends ran even more after our first loop, but I didn’t want to press my luck and I had a lot of work to do at home. I painted a closet door, made granola, and continued with the task of unpacking and organizing all my stuff. Later in the evening I attended the first session of Divorce Care at Northview Church. I wasn’t convinced I would need to attend a support group like this. Going into a room of total strangers and talking about my divorce was extremely difficult but I’m glad I went and am sure I’ll benefit from it.

The Un-Race Report

I like the plain shirt and yes I will wear it.

My apologies to those of you who have been waiting for my report for the Buffalo Marathon. Your wait is not over. You will have to wait a little longer for the report and by a little longer I mean at least another 364 more days. You see, since I didn’t run the race this year I won’t be able to report on it until after I run it next year. Of course there is no guarantee I’ll run it next year, but I guess you’ll just have to take your chances. They were having a heat wave in Buffalo over the weekend so it’s probably just as well that I wasn’t able to run.

Saturday morning I woke up and didn’t quite feel right. I didn’t really feel sick, I ate breakfast as usual but as the morning passed I knew there would be trouble ahead. Just after noon as I was getting ready to drive to the Buffalo Convention Center for packet pickup I suddenly found myself in the bathroom screaming at the porcelain bowl, if you know what I mean and I think you do. Who knew a human stomach could hold so much stuff? In my college days we called it “driving the porcelain bus” and of course some 24 hour bug was not usually what led one to drive the bus. We had a big score card on a bulletin board and at the end of the year the one who drove the bus the most won a prize. Ironically though it always seemed as though the number one bus driver never stuck around until the end of the school year.

No trip to WNY is complete without some Perry's Ice Cream. It's not made by a bunch of long-haired hippies, but it's pretty good stuff.

Anyway, after unloading breakfast and some other odds and ends I started to feel a little better. So my brother’s nephew, John, and I drove to the packet pick up. It had been quite a few years since I had seen John. He had just graduated from college, my alma mater Alfred State. He was one of the fastest runners on their cross country team. This past season he finished third at the NCJAA national championships. The team finished second.

Two scoops of Bittersweet Sinphony in a waffle cone. Yummmmm!

After returning home I sat in a recliner and slept off and on until around 10pm. At this point I was thinking I might still drive to the race but probably wouldn’t run. My brother called to see how I was doing. He assured me that John wouldn’t mind driving himself to the race so I decided I would just stay home. I then went to bed and slept until after the 7am race start time. Got up, ate breakfast and felt pretty good, a little dizzy and groggy though. I sure didn’t feel as though I could have run a marathon especially having not eaten anything at all the day before. By Monday morning I felt fine and went out for a 6 mile run.

I must say I like the race t-shirt. It’s pretty plain which is good, because that means I could wear it to run. There is no advertising on it and the lettering is large enough to see without a magnifying glass.

John finished 6th overall in the half marathon in 1:14:10.

On Monday I went to the Town Of Somerset Memorial Day Service. It was very nice and well done for such a tiny town. Next race is this Saturday, the DINO Series 15k in Brown County State Park, the final race of the spring sub-series.